Monday, June 11, 2007

Spinning Out

It was a perfect day for a drive across the Willamette Valley to last Wednesday's spinning guild. The day was full grey clouds and small showers mingled with patches of sunlight and blue skies. The interplay of light and shadow in the rainwashed air maginified details and colors.

The home where the spining guild met is situated near the Coast Range. About a mile from the farm this view caused me to stop the car, get out and gaze northwards. If there hadn't been fences lining the road I might have taken off across the fields and forgotten all about the meeting. (You should be able to click on pictures to get the bigger picture.)

This picture was taken from the side yard looking west at the Coast Range. It'd be grand to spend a day walking across fields and through the trees. Being a teen in N. Arizona spoiled me forever with its lack of fences to hinder ones roaming the vast plateau and canyon land. I could hike or ride my horse all day without encountering one fence.
The women were very friendly and welcoming, quickly absorbing me into their group. They all had wheels and at first I felt quite shy but their chatter soon had me laughing. One thing that helped to put me at ease was the lack of usual questions fired at a visitor.

The couple who own the farm, Celia and Ken Erion, took us on a tour of their well organized farm. Male llamas and goats in a series of pastures on one side, the females on the other, divided by Pigturd Alley and various outbuildings. Their potbellied pig, Marvin, has free run of the farm. Strategically place pig doors allow him access just about everywhere. He believes he is king.

The animals are all loved and very well cared for. Ken and Celia take their role as animal keepers seriously. The llamas are friendly and seemed to enjoy looking at us as much as we looked at them.

The Erions have dedicated part of one building to their llama co-op. Participants deliver bags full of llama fiber which are weighed then sorted into types and colors. There was over 1100 pounds waiting to be sorted. Ken said they'd be able to go through most of that in one long day with a bit of concentrated effort. The fiber is taken to a mill where it's processed and made into beautiful blankets and socks. At the back of that building is a door leading to:
Celia's ample weaving studio. We were dumbstruck with the number of looms, fibers, and books. Think of having such a spacious dedicated space for fibery pursuits!

No pictures of us actually spinning though we did in lots of spinning and chattering. I finished an ounce of sample singles and plyed it. A future post will have details. The next post I've promised several inquirers to tell the story of my blue hair.

Until then.

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Blogger Charity said...

I'm so glad for you that you spent time with friendly women who share your interest in spinning! It's nice to hear they were so welcoming. :0)

12:08 PM  
Anonymous tiennie said...

Sounds very cool!

12:51 PM  
Blogger Marianne said...

What beautiful photos...(race you!) and the mountains and the sky and the clouds and the llamas, and that fibre studio!
Looks to me that llama was smitten with you....
What a wonderful day and thank you for taking us along!

12:56 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

Looks like a fabulous day, great skies and what a fiber studio, I have some very special llama fibre in my stash and was surprised at how soft it is, can't wait to hear about the blue hair!

1:44 AM  
Anonymous marjorie said...

I love clouds, especially the ones that make the light and shade keep changing. You might enjoy looking at some paintings by the British artist, Constable (I forget his first name.) He loved clouds too. Your picture of the llama kissing you is great. Hopefully his breath wasn't too raunchy.

1:26 PM  
Blogger cyndy said...

Sounds like it was a GREAT day!
So glad that you enjoyed it!

Those pictures of the Coast Range are beautiful, and the fiber studio, WOW!

You are brave to let that Llama get so close!

2:22 PM  
Blogger Fiberjoy said...

Amber Rose was especially friendly. We'd been communing for awhile as I scratched her chest and back when she first reached out to "kiss" me. Initially I jumped back then tantively moved closer. I figured she wanted to exchange breaths as a horse will. All was fine. She had sweet, grass breath.

2:40 PM  

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